Panama City is introduced in the Brave New World expansion pack.
Musical Theme Inspiration: ?
Architecture: Native American
Panama City, capital of the Republic of Panama, is the Pacific terminus of the Panama Canal on the Gulf of Panama. The word "panama" means "many fish," and the city is built on the site of a large native fishing village existing when the Spanish conquistadors arrived. The port city was founded in 1519 AD by the Spanish governor of Panama on the Pacific side of the isthmus to facilitate the trans-shipment of goods and treasure from the Atlantic. It served as the principle staging point for the conquest of the Incan Empire, and the Incan riches passed through on the way to Spain's treasury.
The city quickly became wealthy from this trade, and was subsequently plundered and burned by the English pirate Sir Henry Morgan. Three years later, the city was rebuilt slightly to the south. Although Panama City itself was thereafter well defended by the Spanish, the 1746 destruction of the Caribbean port at Portobelo dealt a serious blow to the overland trade route. Panama City declined in wealth and prestige, although it returned to prominence again a century later when the Panama Railroad opened and gold seekers bound for California flowed across the isthmus by rail and road. Ships from Panama City carried the flood of peoples and supplies north that the Gold Rush unleashed.
After Panama declared its independence from Columbia in 1903, the city was established as the capital. When the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, the city emerged as Central America's hub for international commerce, trade and tourism. Home to over 80 banks, today Panama City is considered the wealthiest city in Latin America. The recent spate of foreign investment in Panamanian shipping and the 2006 referendum to expand the Canal means the city is likely to continue its remarkable economic boom.